Advocacy and Lobying
Arigatou International—End Child Poverty mobilises faith communities and their leaders to address the systemic and structural root causes of child poverty in society. This is through intra-faith, inter-faith, or multi-faith advocacy and lobbying approaches.
Together, we tackle the underlying causes of poverty in society, such as inequitable resource distribution, corruption, poor governance, violence against children, and violent conflicts. Our aim is to influence policy and social change, through high-level ‘upstream’, and grassroots-level ‘downstream’ actions.
Our advocacy specifically focuses on children’s wellbeing and children’s rights, by ensuring this is integrated and mainstreamed in all aspects of societal life. We work towards building increased understanding and awareness on issues related to child poverty. We lay emphasis on measuring impact and utilising evidence to support our actions towards overcoming child poverty. Further, our approach entails being part of regional and global policy and decision-making discourse, with the aim of bringing children’s needs to the forefront.
We anchor these efforts on relevant rights frameworks, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and, the Global Network of Religions for Children – Panama Declaration on Ending Violence Against Children (GNRC Panama Commitments).
How We Work
We promote interfaith advocacy and lobbying by participating collaborative platforms at global and regional levels, to leverage on advocacy opportunities. These include the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, the Africa Interfaith Initiative on the SDGs (AFLI), the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty and Realise the SDGs (Moral Imperative), and the International Partnership on Religion and Development (PaRD). We further co-formed and instituted the African Children and Youth Human Rights Network (REJADH) and the Youth in Action Network, together with the Norwegian Church Aid, Changemaker-Oslo and other collaborating partners.
We also mobilise communites to commemorate relevant international days and observances set by the United Nations (UN) and other relevant bodies, most prominently: the August 12th Youth Day, September 21st Peace Day, October 17th International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) and November 20th World Day of Prayer and Action for Children (WDPAC / Universal Children’s Day).
Additionally, End Child Poverty supports advocacy campaigns initiated by our grassroots partners including members of Arigatou International’s Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC).
Through these spaces, we collectively push for an end to child poverty, and advocate for the promotion of children’s rights, dignity and wellbeing. These platforms provide an opportunity for young people and faith leaders within our networks to amplify their voices and be part of the global and regional discourse concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through these platforms, we highlight actions around on SDG 1 on ending poverty in all its forms, as well as SDGs 2, 4, 5, 8 and 16, on ending hunger, promoting education, gender equality , sustainable livelihoods, and, peace, respectively. We believe that attainment of these SDGs accelerate efforts to end child poverty.
In all, we aim to influence social and policy change that contributes to overcoming poverty that affects children.
As a result of these collective efforts, End Child Poverty has created pathways for faith actors, including young people, to gain access to spaces such as the World Bank/ IMF Civil Society Forums, the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) annual events, the African Union and other regional and national decision-making bodies.
Our advocacy work has further resulted in increased interfaith, intercultural, and intergenerational dialogue and cooperation. For instance, in Sudan, we contributed towards the establishment of the Sudan Social Cohesion Initiative, led by the Sudan Council of Churches, Sudan Interreligious Council, and in partnership with the Eastern African Regional Peace Programme (RPP) actors. This initiative provided faith communities an opportunity for open dialogue, community outreach and advocacy targeting media and state actors, towards enhancing social cohesion and the rights of faith minorities.
Through strategic use of media, including radio, TV and social media, we further propelled increased community dialogue in other pertinent matters impacting children and poverty. The #ILeadPeace and #MythofMaputo Campaigns, which we initiated together with the Youth in Action and REJADH networks, are prime examples of such social media advocacy actions to advance sustained peace and gender equality.
Over the last 10 years, we initiated and supported relevant advocacy campaigns by Arigatou International and grassroots actors, including the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) members, as well as other partners. This includes our Together We Can End Child Poverty Worldwide Campaign, promoting awareness and various community-driven actions towards poverty that affects children. As part of this campaign, we mobilised commemorated the October 17th, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) annually from 2013.